Low Countries pike

User avatar
lero
Posts: 83
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:49 am
Location: Paris

Low Countries pike

Postby lero » Sat May 12, 2018 1:56 pm

They are not mentionned with massed piked, is this on purpose ?
Thanks !

MartinG
Posts: 440
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:48 am

Re: Low Countries pike

Postby MartinG » Sun May 13, 2018 9:58 am

Yes this is deliberate and reflects the way in which they operated.
"No one ever achieved anything without making a few mistakes along the way"

User avatar
lero
Posts: 83
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:49 am
Location: Paris

Re: Low Countries pike

Postby lero » Mon May 14, 2018 5:25 pm

I asked the question because in burgundian list, flemish pikes are massed pike. Is this an error ?

From wikipedia :
and the Flemings used their geldon long spear to absorb the attack of French knights at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302, before other troops in the Flemish formation counterattacked the stalled knights with goedendags. Both battles were seen by contemporaries as stunning victories of commoners over superbly equipped, mounted, military professionals, where victory was owed to the use of the pike and the brave resistance of the commoners who wielded them.

These formations were essentially immune to the attacks of mounted men-at-arms as long as the knights obligingly threw themselves on the spear wall and the foot soldiers remained steady under the morale challenge of facing a cavalry charge, but the closely packed nature of pike formations rendered them vulnerable to enemy archers and crossbowmen who could shoot them down with impunity, especially when the pikemen did not have adequate armor
Without massed pikes or any special rules, the only advantage is to strike first. So cavalry gets its shock ability, suffers no malus, raises defense of opponent for easy strikes. Ok flemish are not swiss and surely not deserve their mobility. But a massed pikes rules with close order reduced move maintained, seems to me more realistic and make think twice before charging with cavalry a pikes block. This is only an opinion, anyway.

User avatar
lero
Posts: 83
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:49 am
Location: Paris

Re: Low Countries pike

Postby lero » Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:53 pm

From WRG source :
Most of their defeats actually seem to have resulted from ill-advisedly taking the offensive, as at Mons-en Pevele,
Cassel, Roosebeke, Rupelmonde and Gavere. Froissart's account ofRoosebeke provides us with some interesting
details on Lowland tactics. He describes how 'they came on at a good pace all close together, their pikes all held
straight up on high, and there were so many of them they had the appearance of a wood.' Once engaged they 'set on
proudly, thrusting with their pikes and shoulders like wild boars, and they held themselves so close together that
they could not be broken into'; indeed, prior to the battle Philip van Artevelde had advised his captains to 'beware
that we do not open up our ranks; let each man bear his pike straight before him, and interlace your arms so that
none may enter in among you; and let us go at a good pace, and tuni neither to left nor right, and shoot our guns all
at once and shoot with our crossbows, and thus shall we dismay our enemies.' The reference to guns should be noted
in particular, because the communal armies of the Low Countries made considerable use of both light field pieces
and handguns, though not always with success- Monstrelet's description of the Battle ofRupelmonde in 1452 is
particularly significant, since he notes that although the men ofGhent 'made good use of their culverines ... they
could not withstand the arrows of the Pi cards, and, turning about, fled.'
The phalanx was usually supported by crossbowmen and archers, who were positioned on the flanks and/or
skirmished ahead of the phalanx, withdrawing back to the main body in the face of an enemy charge. Even with the
support of crossbowmen and archers, however, pikemen were ineffective against larger numbers of archers or
artillery, as the Burgundians proved in their wars against Ghent in 1452-53. However, against unsupported cavalry
foolish enough to charge them, their massed pikes could obviously be murderously effective.


Return to “Medieval Armies”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest